The Trouble with Change

Posted 19 October 2011 at 11:23 PM | Comments (2)

For better or worse, I’ve always “compartmentalized” mass-market home retailers. For example, Pottery Barn is my go-to for upscale Americana beach/cottage. Restoration Hardware for high-end estate looks. Design Within Reach for modern/designer. Room&Board for Midcentury Modern. Z.Gallerie for trendy-glam. CB2 for young modern. And West Elm for upscale eclectic.

Crate&Barrel, my absolute favorite of all favorites, became so because it embodied so many different styles (both modern and traditional, sleek and cozy) but was always two things which I love: 1) clean-lined, and 2) inspired by fashion (not trend, but fashion).

Yet lately, that seems to be changing. The last few catalogs have leaned more toward Room&Board’s aesthetic—Midcentury Modern designs, whitewashed walls, and a lot of neutral colors.

Which—don’t get me wrong—is gorgeous, but that’s not why I fell in love with Crate&Barrel in the first place. Their catalogs are still inspiring, but not in the same way. Where is the richness in color, texture? Where is the drama? As I flip through the change is so obvious, and I’m torn between being irritated and being completely depressed. Because as far as I know, there is no other mass-market home retailer doing what Crate&Barrel used to do.


Anyway, this is the only image in their recent catalog that reminded me of Crate&Barrel’s old days. I cry inside just looking at it, because I’m so afraid it’s the last time I’m going to see something like this!

Crate&Barrel "All in the Mix" Catalog Dining Room

2 Responses to The Trouble with Change

  1. Leslie says:

    I noticed the same thing — lots of greys, washed-out browns — and when I got to the page you mentioned, I felt a sense of relief. Somehow, I think looking at too many neutrals was giving me a headache!

  2. Mojan says:

    So you noticed it, too! I can appreciate when a company makes themselves over, but in this case, it makes me sad. I feel like I’m in mourning.

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